Obama’s oil flip-flop about place as well as issue

posted at 12:00 pm on August 2, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has proven himself slippery on oil for the second time in his campaign.  In April, he accused his opponents of taking money from oil lobbies, when in fact Obama himself not only did the same thing but had oil executives as major bundlers to his campaign.  Now he’s reversed himself on drilling, and he did it in a remarkable place — Florida:

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said today he would be willing to open Florida’s coast for more oil drilling if it meant winning approval for broad energy changes.

“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices,” Obama said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post.

“If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage – I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done,” Obama said.

Of course, this comes shortly after Obama called off-shore drilling “the latest scheme”, telling his supporters that drilling wouldn’t solve anything.  How shortly?  48 hours! Here’s Obama in Springfield, Missouri, insisting that drilling wouldn’t work:

Now the latest scheme is well, we’re going to drill offshore. Now, I want to be absolutely clear to everybody about this. If I thought that I could provide you some immediate relief on gas prices by drilling off the shores of California and New Jersey, I – I … I understand how desperate folks are. I met a guy who couldn’t go on a job search that lost his job, couldn’t go on a job search because of the high price of gas. Just couldn’t fill up his tank. I met a teacher in South Dakota who loved her job as a teacher on an Indian reservation, she had to quit because the drive was too far, it was taking up too much of her paycheck. I know how bad people are hurting. So If I thought that by drilling offshore, we could solve our problem, I’d do it.

So what happened in the following 48 hours to convince Obama to drill? He probably looked at the polls, especially in Florida. The Sunshine State had fiercely opposed off-shore drilling for decades, and would normally be a safe place to rail against Big Oil and talk about alternative energy sources. Not any longer, though; 60% of Floridians now support off-shore drilling, ten percent of whom acknowledge that their position has changed with the rise in gas prices.

The 48-hour flip-flop also arrives with a rebellion in the Senate Democratic caucus on drilling. The Gang of 10 threatens to undermine not only the leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, but also the policy stand of Obama in the presidential election. Their compromise proposal to open certain areas of the Atlantic seaboard and the eastern Gulf of Mexico threatened to put Obama on the fringe of his own party on drilling. He had little choice but to eat his words from Springfield on the stage in St Petersburg.

Obama once again reveals himself as a traditional politician, one that will swing like a weathervane in order to get elected. The only quality remarkable about Obama is his shamelessness in policy reversals, expecting everyone to ignore his obvious change in stance as Obama pretends that he has always supported what he used to oppose. It’s more than vaguely Orwellian, and without any real track record, it should make voters across the spectrum wonder what Obama would do once in power.

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The right answer to hammer home again and again is that we Republicans don’t compromise with our citizens’ economic and national security.

And if Pelosi squawks her “save the planent” idiocy, all a Republican has to reiterate is that our country leads, indeed sets the standard, in responsible energy production.

Put the Dems on the defensive. Their record is non-defensible.

onlineanalyst on August 2, 2008 at 9:30 PM

As for Nixon, my youthful association with him, his campaign, and later, in DC, professionally with people who worked directly with him, and my readings of his books and his columns and articles and various interviews, my understanding of Nixon goes way way beyond merely casting a vote for him.

Yes, coldwarrior, that was just my Cheap Rhetorical Trick to get you to name names–but you didn’t cough any up

but, you should conisder that your Past Affection for him might colour your judgment,

The Nixon-Obama connection is about them both having similar qualities and peculiarities–most particularly a relentless single-minded amibition untroubled by moral or ethical restraint. Both men would do literally anything to get elected–ANYTHING

In office, Nixon ) the Republican who ran a campaign sounding like a convervative ) grossly expanded the size and scope and funding and debt of government. Obama if elected cannot discard the crackpot liberalism of his campaign because the people who pull his strings are intent on re-shaping this nation, and he is their Annointed Tool

Luckily for you and me, he won’t win. Nixon only won because of Tet and Wallace, and Obama has neither

Janos Hunyadi on August 2, 2008 at 9:37 PM

I am glad he is showing some sense, but I fear it is based on his needs which has nothing to do with the welfare of anyone besids himself.

allrsn on August 2, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Once Obama is elected of course, it may well be that no amount of careful consideration of the environment or adoption of support for alternative sources will be enough to get anything done in Congress. However, this will let Obama claim that he is not obstinate on drilling for until the election. On the other hand, once McCain gives his word, he will follow through even if he was not intially supportive of an idea.

On so many issues, buying Obama is buying a pig in a poke.

KW64 on August 2, 2008 at 9:52 PM

I read in the NYT now that Republicans are wimping-out and removing ANWR drilling to compromise with the Dems. This is why Obambi can flip-flop and look like a winner. The Republicans are snatching defeat from the mouth of victory on this. What wimps!

sheriff246 on August 2, 2008 at 10:09 PM

Janos Hunyadi on August 2, 2008 at 9:37 PM —

I’ll add that Nixon won moreso because of Grant Park and the ’68 Chicago Dem Convention, than because of Tet or Wallace. Wallace? Wallace took votes away from Nixon. Tet ’69 was on the Dem watch…something among others that compelled Johnson to refuse to accept his party’s nomination. The Dems could have used this to their advantage, but Humphrey, then VP, and “semi-incumbent” initially official choice of the Dem Party hierarchy, seriously challenged only by RFK, took the JFK stance toward Vietnam…and the Left of the Party began their ascendency. The Dems actually had a lot of tremendous sympathy votes heading their way because of the RFK assassination, from independents and a number of Republicans who weren’t all that thrilled about Nixon. Were it not for Grant Park, and related incidents shattering the Democratric Party, leaving it wide open for Left domination, they could have pulled off a victory or at least a formidable challenge to Nixon.

Lastly, on the politics of Nixon’s win, anbd the ’68 Dems loss, the party machine structure was very much alive in 1968, on both sides of the aisle. One merely has to look at the Daley Machine in Chicago to understand hw this worked. Block voting of whole neighborhoods could be expected, and votes were delivered by local party bosses. The Conventions were 8-round prize fights right up until the final day in many cases. There were no “primaries.”

On the rel;ated “experience” matter, Nixon was a student of realpolitik. Never made any foreign policy decision out of context. He saw the Vietnam War as draining America, but, more importanly he saw the Vietnam War as putting a serious wedge between the US and our NATO allies at a time when NATO had become soft, our military becoming even more soft and in dissaray, and the Soviets were ramping up their R&D and deployment of newer systems and they were making great inroads across the Third World. But, at the same time, he could not just pull the plug on Vietnam. That would have had a terrible effect on our abilities in a number of arenas and theaters…a weak America presented to the world at that point in time would have tipped a balance not easily undone. Sadly, for almost all Americans, Vietnam is still refered to as “Nixon’s War.” Nixon also started non-public meetings with the Soviets, but moreso the Chinese, early in his first administration, out of sight of the world press, understanding that the Soviets and Chinese were no longer best friends forever, and he could leverage that to our advantage, and address the Soviet successes in the Third World as well, and placate a large portion of NATO nations perceptions of the US wrought from our Vietnam tar baby….so long as none of the participants were embarassed under the glare of the press.

Nixon, until 1972 had a very good grip on reality. After 1972, incrementally less so…by 1973/74…increments turned to vast swaths.

Obama has none of this realpolitik conciousness, nor a grip on the realities of international relations, no depth of field in his perceptions as to what drives nations and or movements. He has no coterie from which to draw the necessary advice and counsel he will require should he be elected. Just look at the people from past administrations who are willingly “guiding him” and look at those from past Dem administrations who are absent. A lot of “yes men” in that bunch, a lot of discredited hacks, as well.

Obama is a creation of that same Left, born in the tear gas and shattered skulls and jaws of Grant Park, and has the same depth of feeling and earnest and belief…but like most of the Left, no real basis in reality.

In essence, Obama is not at all ready for prime time, darling of the Left, or not

As for my “past affection” for Nixon…not worthy of comment, but I will anyway. To suggest such is to indicate you know nothing about me. Suffice it to say, I do not make choices on “feelings” nor base them on “affections” when it comes to political matters. I attempt as best as humanly possible to render choices and decisions based on all available facts. Analysis and synthesis.

coldwarrior on August 2, 2008 at 10:12 PM

I think the Dems position is easily defensible, oa.

Let any oil company that starts selling gas for $2.00 a gallon start drilling offshore.

alphie on August 2, 2008 at 10:13 PM

“…Tet ‘69 was on the Dem watch…” Dammit. Tet ’68.

coldwarrior on August 2, 2008 at 10:15 PM

Janos Hunyadi on Aug 2,2008 at 9:37PM.

coldwarrior on Aug 2,2008 at 10:12PM.

You are both tied in the Nixon debate,now yer both in
overtime,keep it clean,and give er!hahaha. :)

canopfor on August 2, 2008 at 10:18 PM

I think the dems position,

alphie on Aug 2,2008 at 10:13PM.

alphie: What in the world are doing behind the computer
at this hour,aren’t you missing at a oil drilling

canopfor on August 2, 2008 at 10:23 PM

canopfor on August 2, 2008 at 10:18 PM —

A tie? You’ve got to be joking!! :-)

canopfor on August 2, 2008 at 10:23 PM —

Don’t feed the trolls…his 10:13 post is on a couple other threads already, earlier. Yours is the first response he has gotten here tonite. I thnk his parents are out for the evening and he has the basement all to himself, though.

coldwarrior on August 2, 2008 at 10:26 PM

coldwarrior on August 2, 2008 at 10:12 PM

I would ask you to expand or discredit the idea that much of Nixon’s domestic policy (EPA, ERA, OSHA) was forced on him by the democrats.

Also, how will McCain, as president, respond to that kind of pressure from the liberal left?

rockhauler on August 2, 2008 at 10:43 PM

A tie? You’ve got to be joking!! :-)

coldwarrior on Aug 2,2008 at 10:26PM.

coldwarrior: I might of analyzed it wrong,haha!:)

Ya,I know, alphie got in the perimeter
and under the wire!

I’ve asked him 3 times,if he was a former
member of the US Military,all I got was

canopfor on August 2, 2008 at 10:44 PM

as an additional thought.

How effective will conservatives be in pressuring a President Obama given the Friday afternoon performance of Republicans in the House.

rockhauler on August 2, 2008 at 10:47 PM

Paul Mirengoff has an intriguing bit of information about Obama’s stance on offshore drilling, not yet on the radar. And now you know the prequel.

onlineanalyst on August 2, 2008 at 10:51 PM

onlineanalyst on August 2, 2008 at 10:51 PM

Fascinating!! thanks for the link…

jerrytbg on August 2, 2008 at 11:09 PM

rockhauler on August 2, 2008 at 10:43 PM —

Got distracted watching the talking heads on TV…

In my understanding, Nixon actually beleived the EPA and OSHA were necessary. From public pressure to great extent, but it was evident that the spoilage of our resources and the rate of industrial accidents required federal intervention because the states could not act or chose not to act, and standards and coodination required could come from no one but the federal government. He had opposition from Republicans, for sure, for both the EPA and OSHA. Had he been in agreement with them, neither would have been created.

Establishing the EPA in 1970 wasn’t so much as being a sap to the Dems (such as it would be perceived today) but more as responding to a growing need/desire on the part of the public to “do something.” At the time, most Americans were appalled when shown the evidence, starting with Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and through the power of television and Life magazine, and such, exposing the conditions that were rampant all across the nation.

The follow-on Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, 1970 and 1972, had support from both sides of the aisle. There was friction as to implementation and financing and such, which was to be expected, but the thrust of the EPA, CAA, CWA had fairly good bi-partisan support during Nixon’s first Administration.

One has to look at the times.

Johnson’s Great Society programs, with the emphasis on welfare and public housing, was a costly albatross from the beginning. Nixon wanted to cut back on many of these Great Society welfare programs. He was no great fan of “the War on Poverty.” He beleived that such programs encouraged Americans not to work. He was a big fan of market forces. He wanted Americans to work. Earn. Grow. Build a solid economy. Not as much as Reagan, though, not by a long shot.

ERA? Wasn’t such a big supporter of that, if I recall. Thought that the 19th Amendment took care of things quite nicely. Had Nixon shown real support for the ERA in 1972, it would have passed muster when sent out to the States within a very very short time. It did not get the hoped for support from its proponents, about 30 states signed on, a few took back their signatures, and it died of neglect in 1982.

Nixon’s undoing was the Vietnam War and Watergate…both distracted him from the plans and programs and ideas he had or supported. he no longer had the politrical capital during his first administration, and his second was just marking time, really, save for foreign policy, opening up China, detente with the Soviets, among other foreign policy initiatives.

How will McCain, as President, respond…?

Your guess is as good as mine. Given his track record, I beleive that when he gets his back to the wall, he will compromise. Which is what disturbs me and apparently quite a lot of others, when it comes to McCain being our presumptive nominee. Seems like we need Conservatism and Federalism back in our hands, and soon. McCain, I believe will be elected. I also believe he will be an inter-regnum Presidency, a place holder until 2012. I also believe he no longer has that fire in the belly thing, the stuff that once made him a real maverick. If you read any biographical articles or books and such about his captivity and his return to the US when he was released…he lost a lot of time, and he lost a lot of experience in dealing with the wholesale change in America while he was abroad, tied up, as it were, by other matters. I don’t think he has been able to make up for that loss of perception. Think it has an effect, still, on his understanding of the forces at work in American society.

coldwarrior on August 2, 2008 at 11:24 PM

canopfor on August 2, 2008 at 10:44 PM —

Click on his handle…take a look at his web site. Explains it all.

coldwarrior on August 2, 2008 at 11:25 PM

rockhauler on August 2, 2008 at 10:47 PM —

“How effective will conservatives be in pressuring a President Obama given the Friday afternoon performance of Republicans in the House.”

Frankly? If Obama gets elected, there will be NO effective conservative opposition in the House. There are a lot of coat-tail candidacies out there, in congressional districts currently held by Republicans, and where the incumbents are facing some serious opposition. Should Obama be elected, a lot of Republicans are going to lose. A lot of Demoicrats are going to win. It is a matter of arithmetic. If Republicans stay home…no votes for Republicans for Congress. Staying home because one is in a fit of pique over Mccain is doubly dangerous. So, this question is essentially moot.

coldwarrior on August 2, 2008 at 11:31 PM

Click on his handle…

coldwarrior on Aug 2,2008 at 11:25PM.

coldwarrior: Thanks for the tip,I checked him/or/her’s
website about a week ago!

I surfed Weather Undergound,excellent radar
tho,anyhow,theres a guy on there named alphie,
and I think its him or her,and there posing
as a US soldier stationed in Iraq?

Hey,I hate to toot my own horn,ABC News Blog,
Political Punch,used 2 of my posts,I nearly
died when I seen it!



Just scroll down the postings,until you see canopfor!

canopfor on August 2, 2008 at 11:40 PM


(and then I remembered price controls, and the gold standard)
but the conclusion I had reached was every president is confronted by conflicting forces beyond his control, and even the great ones have difficulty resisting those pressures.

Which puts Bush’s stubborn refusal to withdraw from Iraq after November 2006 into historical context. I would have folded after the election and said something along the lines of you want the troops out, ok fine, bring’m home tomorrow, which would have been a disaster.

So the Republicans pull their little ‘stunt’, and Obama flips on drilling for oil. Well, there are always escape clauses in the fine print, so who knows.

Be prepared, I always say.

rockhauler on August 2, 2008 at 11:53 PM

“but the conclusion I had reached was every president is confronted by conflicting forces beyond his control, and even the great ones have difficulty resisting those pressures.”

True, to an extent. But, those Presidents who had a core, a system of beliefs, character, resisted successfully those pressures. Reagan had a knack for going over the heads of Congress, directly to the people, ands most often won. He had a foundation from which to project himself, his ideas, his ideals, and was facile in communicaton to a degree rarely seen in Presidents. (You couldn’t help but like him. He asked questions, real questions. He took in the answers, rarely shooting from the hip. You’d have been amazed at his ability to listen to lower level professionals above the “counsel and advice” of some of the higher ups.)

Bush’s “stubborn” refusal re: Iraq, wasn’t a stubborn refusal, but a belief in the basis for his decision. Iraq, tragic as it has become in America’s consciousness, will be vindicated when taken in context of the overall basis for his decision. It wasn’t about WMD. Don’t buy in to that canard. It was about changing once and for all the status quo in the Middle East. The accepted notion before Bush was that the Middle East would always be the same, that there would never ever be any sort of popular government in the region except for Israel, a notion that was the root of our policy in the region since the 1950’s. Changing that status quo, if successful, has sweeping ramifications for the region for the next several decades. If successful in Iraq [and Afghanistan] Bush will be vindicated, so long as our support for both fledgling nations continues, and they are encouraged to develop real government and a secular society. The Bush idea for Iraq is similar to Turkey before the advent of islamic-extremism in the region. Islamic extremism did not come from a secular society as Turkey, but from miedieval Islamic based nations in the region. Of course we get blamed for it.

This is again a reason to NOT elect Obama. He is content with stepping back, going back to that old status quo in the region, and dealing with problem nations one at a time, not as part of an overall program, but in reaction to events as they unfold. This is how we got to this point in the Middle East to begin with. Had the Clinton Administration taken advantage of the removal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan, and kept US involvement there going on the economic and developmental front, there would have been no Taliban.

But, Clinton never saw events overseas in context. It was always one thing at a time, even conflicting things one at a time, no consistency, no core. Clinton also believed in the post-Sivet post-Cold War “peace dividend” and squandered it ewlsewhere. [The chaos of post-Soviet Russia could have been largely avoided had the US gotten involved and invested, advised, shared our experience in markets and market forces, and helped Russian transition from communism to a market-0based economy, and investing there, iencouraging investment and technical support there, would have gone a long way to preventing what we see in Russian today.]

When terrorism began to spike on the screens at the Agency, the Clinton Adminsitration did nothing to cope effectively with it. No one connected the dots because there was no interest at the top to do so, despite what Richard Clarke claims. I was there. Clarke’s sweeping generalizations that Clinton was on top of everything and it was Bush’s fault that we didn’t connect the dots is patently false. Events leading to 9-11 were already well in motion, and key players had already entered the stream by the time Bush was elected. recall that Bush was largely unable to appoint his choices to many many key federal cabinet and staff positions, necessitating Bush having almost two-thirds of federal appointees being Clinton holdovers or the positions vacant.

This is why a President who has sound judgement, the ability to reason in depth, the ability to put ideas in motion based on realities no fleeting dreams or wishes, cannot normally be swept up by conflicting forces. A President who cannot or will not develop that core [hopefully before, long before, being sworn in] is easily pushed asided by those same forces, and is carried helpless down the stream with nothing to keep him afloat nor anything with which to haul himself to shore.

Obama, in my estimation, is one of those. Unfortunately, to an extent, I have to admit that I think McCain may be of that type as well, but much less so.

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 12:24 AM

The price you pay for gasolene is not just a function of price per barrel
Its $2.38 in Mexico
$2.61 in Thailand
China $2.44

The U.S. has the most well honed refining and distribution system on Earth.

You can’t tell me that we cant do it cheaper than these 3rd worlders.

I smell a rat.

I bet you a dollar, as soon as Barack HUSSIEN Obama gets in office, his muslim opec friends will drop the price so that Americans will think he is the Messiah.

TheSitRep on August 3, 2008 at 12:26 AM

Mexico…the Mexican government assumes the difference/subsidizes gasoline at the pump. If they didn’t inflationin Mexico would be rampant and the governemnt would be tossed out in a blink of the eye.

Thailkand…the government likewise assumes the difference, which has had a negative affect on development in Thailand of other necessary programs and development.

China…the yuan is not a global market based currency…$2.44 per gallon is meaningless. If the Yuan were pegged to the world currency market, China would have European prices per gallon for gasoline. This is why China is seeking, actively seeking, oil rights all across the globe, off the Florida coast, from Venezuela, building infrastructure into Central Asia.

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 12:32 AM

BTW, you can donate that dollar you owe me to the Wounded Warrior Project.

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 12:35 AM

Also, our refining and distribution system is over 30-years old. It may be the largest such system, but it is not state of the art by any means.

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 12:41 AM

Take a look at that 2007 chart you linked to. All the nations above the US on that chart do not have government subsidies or have a much higher rate of taxation per gallon that we do. All those countries beloew the US on that chart ASLL have government subsidies to the consumer at the pump or to the refiners/importers.markat train for gasoline. Venezuela, for example, at the very bottom, is actually losing money for every gallon of gasoline sold in Venezuela. If it did not export its oil, those gasoline prices would be near the top of the list.

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 12:47 AM

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 12:24 AM

Again, thanks. I find your opinion instructive, and I hope the topic police don’t get bent out of shape. You speak with the authority of experience while I’m an anonymous nobody who reads the papers.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, I ‘knew’ then that some other political force would fill that power vacuum. I had no understanding, then, of the political appeal of militant Islam.

Just how independent is this global Islamist movement, and how much influence, if any, does China have? I would suspect that China sees the conflict between Western Civilization and militant Islam as an opportunity at the least, and at the worst, is actively encouraging it.

Or to say it another way, if there really was a foreign power actively attempting to destabilize the US government, what would that foreign power do that was any different then what is going on now? Or is it all just coincidental confluence of forces?

(I’ll make this my last question, I promise.)
Thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

rockhauler on August 3, 2008 at 1:11 AM

coldwarrior: Thanks so much.

I’m sitting in the front row when you’re at the podium.

RushBaby on August 3, 2008 at 1:13 AM

So the best way to get cheaper gas is to nationalize the oil industry?

alphie on August 3, 2008 at 1:31 AM

So the best way to get cheaper gas is to nationalize the oil industry?

alphie on August 3, 2008 at 1:31 AM

Which nominee suggests that?

Entelechy on August 3, 2008 at 1:38 AM

Why, the brilliant coldwarrior was just explaining that very fact, ent.

If you want cheap gas, make sure your overnment controls the oil industry.

Or borrow Nixon’s price control scheme…

alphie on August 3, 2008 at 1:42 AM

alphie on August 3, 2008 at 1:42 AM

Are you that same idiot who used to troll on Cathy Seipp’s blog.

TexasJew on August 3, 2008 at 2:02 AM

alphie on August 3, 2008 at 1:42 AM

Alphie, let us put it to a test…….. Petroleum products are much more than just “cheap gas”, in fact if put lubrication on one or more holes on your body today, it came from a petroleum product……… so……… besides “gas” what are you willing to live without?

Seven Percent Solution on August 3, 2008 at 2:26 AM


Or was I confusing you with Soupy? Or ReJeKt?
If so, I apologize.
The amazingly tolerant Cathy(RIP) always had quite a collection of interesting posters (and I’m not even including David Ehrenstein or Luke).

TexasJew on August 3, 2008 at 2:32 AM

The dam losing R I N O’S will whimp out they always do. No person concerned with the freedom of the USA will!!! I am fed up with the rino’s.


NO tid bit rino will get power from me!!!

allrsn on August 3, 2008 at 3:13 AM

Aren’t there some kind of tuna fishing regulations that should prevent Republicans from catching so many Flippers in their nets over so many consecutive presidential elections…?

Captain Scarlet on August 3, 2008 at 7:30 AM

This demonization of oil companies is very Hitleresque.

drjohn on August 3, 2008 at 9:16 AM

I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done,” Obama said.

That’s crap, because he’s voted against it every single time, and anyone arguing that this isn’t a total reversal i simply disingenuous.

drjohn on August 3, 2008 at 9:37 AM

Hint: Obama’s lips are moving. He is lying. Again.

hillbillyjim on August 3, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Whatever happened to Captains of industry bringing us products and services we couldn’t provide for ourselves?

Governments could care less about innovation except as a political tool, minus capitalism Americans would never have benefited from a great many things they take for granted now.

The oil industry is pure venture, way out of the governments league.

If Bill Gates were institutionalized in a government production facility would we be talking now? Hardly.

Life isn’t fair, can’t be made fair either, get over it.

Speakup on August 3, 2008 at 10:51 AM

Hint: Obama’s lips are moving. He is lying. Again.

hillbillyjim on August 3, 2008 at 9:49 AM

I’m sorry, hillbilly, I’ll have to give Obama a pass on that. All politicians lie every time their mouths move.

OldEnglish on August 3, 2008 at 11:09 AM

(I’ll make this my last question, I promise.)
Thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

rockhauler on August 3, 2008 at 1:11 AM

(Let’s make this the last off-topic response on this particular thread, shall we? I feel guilty eating up bandwidth. I’m a guest here. We oughta get back to Obama and his new solution whatever that might be today, or later today, or this evening…)

The global Islamist movement is not an organized entity like one would see with the Sicilian “mafia” or organized crime, or the old COMINTERN. It is not a structure. It is a movement. It has independent cells, fellow travelers, cells of opportunity…one or two guys sitting in Tunis can design and execute an operation in Rome, or Dakar, or Long Beach…and when it is all done, and the smoke has cleared, and the bodies processed at the morgue, these two guys can get on the internet and proclaim they are AQ in Tunisia, or Long Beach…having never met Osama, and having never met anyone in AQ. Osama’s organization pretty much exists in name only and in the form of a rapidly dwindling number of Osama-trained and financed thugs with targets on their backs hiding out along the Pak-Afghan border. This is one of the reasons we are spending so much time and effort across the Third World using small teams, instructors and advisors help[ing local governments root out, run down, and destroy thugs and AQ-wannabe’s before they can carry out that big hit. This is also why such things as a free-trade agreement with Colombia, for example is so vital. Enabling economic progress in backwards nations is a key element in all of this. The war on the jihadis is NOT confined to Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 60 countries are directly involved, sometimes more, sometimes fewer. It doesn’t make the headlines because, frankly, it shouldn’t. But the overall effect of any successful jihadis effort is to show the world that the jihad is alive and growing…even if it is not.

As for China, China has NO connection to the Islamacists…they are cracking down heaviily in their far Western Islamic areas inside China, especially in the run-up to the Olympics. They’ve offered limited autonomy to Moslems within their Moslem areas, but have a firm hand on anything that might even look like straying from the approved texts and draconian Chinese law.

Now, for Obama…

The Left (especially in the form of Maxie Waters) has made a number of feints and jabs at getting the US to nationalize the oil industry. Their belief seems to parrot alphie’s. But, this would bring higher prices in the long run here in the US, not lower. Whenever my wife(ex-wife, thank you, God) would start to compain about some program, she’d normally start off with “the government needs to do something to fix this…” I’d look at her and say “Oh, really? I’m part of the government, you want guys like me to fix something?” That’d put the issue at rest as she would walk off grumbling and mumbling some epithet or two..

“Whatever happened to Captains of industry bringing us products and services we couldn’t provide for ourselves?”

Excellent point, Speakup. Excellent point.

A lot of those captians of industry started out in the barn, or garage, or basement or their kitchen table with an idea, and tweaking it, refining it, putting their own money, efforts and time into it, developed a process, a product, a better mousetrap…and then sold it…or got venture capitalists to invest in it to make it better or sell it on a larger scale. Look at that annual listing of millionaires and such. Look at how many rich folk in the US are rich because of inherited money and how many are rich through their own efforts. Then look from year to year and see who is new on the list and who has dropped out. Being Rich in America is a pretty fluid thing. Today’s captain of industry may be an itinerate rag picker tomorrow. Taking risk is what has driven our industrial development since before we became a nation. There are no guarantees of wealth or income. The role of government should be to clear the path, get the roadblocks out of thwe way, not to control the outputs. Obama thnks differently, as do many, too many, on the Left.

Look over what happened in the Soviet Union over 70 years. State control of capital, the means of production, wages, raw materials accomplished what? When Gorbachev began his perestroika campaign, his intent was to reform Communism, Communism with a happy face, as many called it. But the very nature of Communism made this reform impossible from the start. [I’d love to get into this…but hit the library and pick up a copy of “The Man Who Changed the World” by Gail Sheehy. Then pick up a copy of Gorbachev’s “Perestroika.” Then you’ll understand fully why Communism and vibrant economies cannot co-exist. Ever.)

Speakup raises a very vital point in all of this, something that the Obamaniacs seem to want to ignore, something the Left actually wants to quash.

Government can’t do it. Without venture capital and risk, and the freedom to fail that is built into the capitalist system, we would not be posting on the internet. There’d be no internet for the average American. There might be computer to computer commo between engineers and scientists, we’d probably still be using Cobal and Fortran and key-punch to use that system…but look at what private individuals working out of their garage did to change the face of communications, commerce and exchange of knowledge across the globe. It wasn’t government. Why cannot more people understand this simple very simple idea?

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Coldwarrior (11:37)

Thanks again. I love it.

rockhauler on August 3, 2008 at 11:55 AM

. . . look at what private individuals working out of their garage did to change the face of communications, commerce and exchange of knowledge across the globe. It wasn’t government. Why cannot more people understand this simple very simple idea?

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Valid point, but we should admit that government can sometimes play a constructive role: 19th-century land grants for railroads, Apollo 11, the Arpanet (which become the Internet), etc.

Excellent posts, Coldwarrior. Good reading. If you haven’t already, you really ought to find a more visible outlet than these ephemeral HA threads. Would like to hear more about your experience in government–and out of it, for that matter.

MrLynn on August 3, 2008 at 8:51 PM

“The role of government should be to clear the path, get the roadblocks out of the way, not to control the outputs.”

Which, MrLynn, is pretty much in line with your examples.

My experiences in government? Makes for some pretty dull reading, I assure you. I was one of those nameless faceless types who sat in on all sorts of meetings, or took part as a “sherpa” for a couple Summits, or otherwise got to engage with some really off the wall foreign types overseas at my government’s behest. Lots of mileage. Lots of grey hair these days, too. I was pretty average back in the day, really. Still am. Single, pretty much over the hill. Kids are grown. Just me and the cats. HA is my current domain. Was over at Captain’s Quarters for a couple years. Have been contemplating doing some writing, but until they change a few laws, regarding pre-approval of publications, don’t know if the hassle is worth the effort. I mean, if someone as esteemed as Speaker of the House Pelosi writes a book and it only hits in the 1500 range on Amazon…

But thank you for your very kind comments, regardless. I enjoy engaging here at Hot Air. Keeps the grey matter sharp.

coldwarrior on August 3, 2008 at 9:21 PM

CW, if you haven’t already, you might check out the Power Line Forum. I find that a better arena for extended discussion, as the threads don’t proliferate so fast with a flurry of one-liners; and you can subscribe to a thread, so you get notified when someone posts (that would be hopeless here at HA). Of course there are plenty there too that fall prey to mindless argumentation, but that’s a common failing of the Internet.

And I’m sure a book of yours would have more meat to it than Pelosi’s.

MrLynn on August 4, 2008 at 1:06 AM